A 104-year-old derby that promised to have it all delivered once more. Paarl Boys’ High hold off their cross-town rivals Paarl Gim 26 – 24 to win their SupaQuick Premier Interschools Clash at Faure Street Stadium in Paarl on the 30th of July 2022. Half time – Paarl Boys’ High 9 – 3 Paarl Gim.
It was a first half that displayed unrivaled amounts of intensity and physicality that would be hard to find elsewhere or in any other derby for 2022. Paarl Gim showed early on why they came into this derby as favourites over their cross-town rivals Boys’ High.
With only 8 minutes on the clock, Gim were bashing away on attack inside the Boys’ High half before an offside penalty gave Flyhalf Liam Koen the chance to draw first blood which he did with ease, converting his first kick of the game to provide Paarl Gim with an early lead. Paarl Boys 0 – 3 Paarl Gim.
As the half-progressed Boys’ High began building their way back into the match, showing patience on attack, that lasted for longer than 10 minutes inside Gim’s half.
Their patience paid off after a carry into contact left Gim’s flyhalf, Koen, with no chance to roll away gifting Boys High three points which their flyhalf Thurlon Williams added comfortably in a swirling Paarl wind. 19 minutes played; Paarl Boys’ drew level 3 – 3 Paarl Gim.
Boys High held the momentum after drawing level and their dominance in possession showed once more as a similar infringement from Paarl Gim again in the 22m gave Boys High another kickable penalty which Williams converted. Paarl boys lead for the first time in the match 6 – 3.
Paarl Gim had opportunities in the first half to get back on level terms but unforced errors on attack let them down as the Boys’ High defense held strong.
On the stroke of half time Boys High found themselves once more inside the Gim half with possession for long periods of time with minimal disruption as Paarl Gim did what they had to, to keep them out. Paarl Gim’s discipline however let them down as a penalty for not releasing was given to Boys’ High. Thurlon Williams showed composure to slot it over once more ending the first half with a 6-point lead. Paarl Boys’ High 9 – 3 Paarl Gim.
The second half brought Faure Street Stadium which was jam-packed with over 25 thousand spectators to their feet from start to finish.
It was a second half of schoolboy rugby that had it all. It began with the same intensity and physicality that it did in the first half but this time with more flair and ambition to run from anywhere on both sides.
It wasn’t until the 46th minute that the first points of the second half were scored when a chip kick into space by Paarl Boys’ elusive scrumhalf Juan Loots found the hands of his chasing outside centre Shah Jehaan de Jongh thanks to a very kind bounce of the rugby ball which he plucked from the hands of Gim’s fullback Shan Ray in the air to score next to the uprights. Williams, solid as ever converted the first try of the derby. Paarl Boys’ High with a comfortable lead 16 – 3.
10 minutes later it was Paarl Gim’s chance to show what they had on the attack which had built from within their half and lead them to be just 5 meters out from the Boys’ High try line. Gim’s forward pack battered away at the Boys High defense asking them to make a number of try-saving tackles. Boys’ High couldn’t hold on however and it was lock forward Danio Botha who dived over. Koen knocked over the conversion with ease as Paarl Gim where right back into the match with 56 minutes gone. Paarl Boys’ High 16 – 10 Paarl Gim.
This is where the derby really came into life as it took Paarl Boys’ less than two minutes to reply to Gim’s try with a drop goal slotted as calmly as you would like in the heat of battle from Thurlon Williams which would prove to be the difference between the two schools from Paarl. Paarl Boys’ lead 19 points to Paarl Gim’s 10.
However, Paarl Gim was not going to go away. With not a moment to catch your breath from the restart, Paarl Gim’s right-wing Enzo Labuschagne won the ball in the air to give Gim possession back deep inside the Paarl Boys’ half. Gim didn’t take long to find space out wide after two phases as the ball was flung to Labuschange once more who danced his way around his opposite number to then pass inside to his scrumhalf Emrique Liedeman who scored under the poles to give Koen an easy conversion which he did convert. Breath-taking stuff from Gim as they were within two points with 11 minutes to play. Paarl Boys’ High 19 – 17 Paarl Gim.
The final 10 minutes is where derbies like this are won or lost. Paarl Gim regathered the kick-off and looked to clear their lines as they had done successfully throughout the match, this time through the right boot of their captain and inside centre Phillip van Niekerk.
A moment of perfect timing in the defensive line however shut down the space van Niekerk thought he had very quickly as his kick was charged down by Paarl Boys’ eighth man Hugo Ben Horn which Horn gathered to dive over the line and score Paarl Boys’ second try. Williams with ice in his veins calmly slotted the conversion. The derby seemed to be all but done, with only 7 minutes left. Paarl Boys’ High 26 – 17 Paarl Gim.
Paarl Gim in what is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season were not going to let the match end this way. They fought their way back down into Paarl Boys’ half piling massive amounts of pressure onto Paarl Boys’ defense just like they had with their forward pack earlier in the match. It was a quick snipe around the ruck from scrumhalf Liedeman that resulted in his and his second try and his school’s third try of the derby, only 20 seconds remained. Liam Koen converted once more giving him and Paarl Boys’ High Thurlon Williams a 100% kicking record off the tee. Paarl Boys’ High 26 – 24 Paarl Gim.
With mere seconds remaining on the clock, we restarted once more. Paarl Gim held possession well and started to gain momentum until a moment Paarl Boys’ High school boys and fans will remember for years to come happened. Flanker Divan Fuller won a penalty at ruck time for Boys’ High which would mean a heartbreaking defeat by the barest of margins for Paarl Gim.
A derby in which the two schools were only separated by 5 points or less on average over the previous 103 encounters stood true once more. Paarl Boys’ High won the 104th match between the two schools 26 points to Paarl Gim’s 24.
SupaQuick Man of the Match:
Thurlon Williams – Paarl Boys’ High Flyhalf
For Paarl Boys (26)
Tries: Shah Jehaan de Jongh, Hugo Ben Horn
Cons: Thurlon Williams (2/2)
Pens: Thurlon Williams (3/3)
Drop Goal: Thurlon Williams
For Paarl Gim (24)
Tries: Danio Botha, Emrique Liedeman x2
Con: Liam Koen (3/3)
Pens: Liam Koen (1/1)
Paarl Boys High: 15 JC Mars, 14 Scott Nel, 13 Shah jehaan de jongh, 12 Luke Crew, 11 Jameel de Jongh, 10 Thurlon Williams, 9 Juan loots, 8 Hugo Ben Horn, 7 Divan Fuller, 6 Luke Smit, 5 Ben Heydenrech, 4 Van Heerden Pretorius, 3 Bradley Stanfliet, 2 Juan Smit (c), 1 Tian Voster
Paarl Gim: 15 Shan Ray, 14 Enzo Labuschagne, 13 Janeil Losper, 12 Phillip Albert van Niekerk ©, 11 Johandre van Niekerk, 10 Liam Koen, 9 Emrique Liedeman, 8 Louw du Toit, 7 Dean Crous, 6 Willie de Waal, 5 Keanu Coetzee, 4 Danio Botha, 3 Bernard Bladergroen, 2 Luca Bakkes, 1 Jean Fourie
Photographer: Ashley Vlotman (Gallo Images)
Pic 1: Emrique Liedeman from Paarl Gim running with ball
Pic 2: Jameel de Jongh from PBH with ball in hand
Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Premier Interschools.
FOR TOURNAMENT INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Robert Blair, Operations Manager Premier Interschools Pty Ltd.
Telephone: +27 (0)79 588 3703
About Premier Interschools
Premier Interschools is a series of 12 matches, which feature the highest profile and most traditional interschool rugby rivalries from South Africa’s top rugby schools, which are broadcast live on SuperSport from April to August.
Schoolboy rugby has served as one of the cornerstones of domestic rugby dating back more than a century, and true to its slogan “Honouring Heritage. Playing for the Future”, Premier Interschools is about history, heritage and tradition. The series, now in its ninth year, is expected to grow even stronger.
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